Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Why Amazon Is Taking Over the World

So I finished my first square for the World's Biggest Christmas Stocking. It was fun, and when I finished I wanted to make another one. So I picked a new pattern and ordered yarn for it from Yarnspirations, the company that's donating some money to a charity whenever you buy a skein of yarn from them. That was the seventeenth.

It's now the twenty-second and my package still hasn't arrived.

I got a note from the company with a tracking number. Okay, cool, let's see where my box is.

I poke around a bit, and first thing I see is that it takes them at least two business days to just pack your box and get it out of the warehouse. Umm, okay. Two days after I order something from Amazon, it shows up at my doorstep about 90% of the time, and that's without expedited shipping. (And that's just two days, not two business days, unless the second day is a Sunday, and sometimes even then.) But okay, I live in Seattle; I'll bet not everyone gets service that fast from Amazon, and I don't know where Yarnspirations is shipping from.

I go looking for their tracking system. Clicking on the tracking number in the e-mail takes me to a general page where they're trying to sell me a bunch of stuff. Down in a lower corner is a big red button that says "View Order History." Okay, would've been nice to go there straight from the tracking number, but whatever. I click on the big red button.

I've ordered from them twice, and there's a line item for each one. The order from the seventeenth is on top, and... it says "Complete."

Funny, I don't consider that order complete, seeing as how I don't have it in my hands yet.

I click on "View" to, presumably, get more info about this order. I get my name and address, and what I ordered, what it cost, payment method, that sort of thing. Under "Shipping Method" it says "Shipping Option - US Standard Shipping." Wow, that's incredibly generic. USPS? UPS? FedEx? Ralph's Tricycle Fleet...? Anything? No clue. There's a tracking number with no-kidding twenty-two digits in it, but it's not clickable. And since I don't know which company they gave my box to, I can't try plugging that huge number into anyone else's tracking system either.

Oh, but there's a button to one side that says "Track This Shipment." Cool, that must be what I want, so I click on it.

It says:

Shipment #100024731
GM-SPE: 9261293250801316909589

and nothing else, with two "Close Window" buttons, one above and one below. That's the order number, which was on my e-mail, and the tracking number I got on the previous page, which makes this tracking page perfectly un-helpful.

And that's about it. Short of putting in some kind of help ticket, I have no way of getting any more info. I'm hoping that by the time they'd have gotten back to me, I'll have my package. [crossed fingers] Tomorrow, maybe? The seventeenth and twentieth are two business days during which they hopefully got my yarn packed, and tomorrow is the twenty-third, which would give three days for actual transit. I don't remember how long the first one took to arrive, so I can't make a comparison there.

Maybe it's my fault. I haven't done any knitting in at least half a dozen years or so, and starting up again has re-kindled my enthusiasm for it. I did most of my knitting while sitting here watching Netflix on my computer. It took me about ten days to knit my square, and apparently it only takes ten days to burn in that habit; it now feels weird sitting here watching TV online without something to do with my hands. That makes me a little more eager than I was before.

But still, seriously, if it gets here tomorrow, it will have been almost a week. And their order tracking system doesn't deserve the name; it just ticked me off. If Amazon does end up taking over the retail world, as so many hysterics keep screaming will happen, this will be why -- faster, superior service.

I for one will welcome our Amazonian overlords. I wish they'd take over this yarn vendor and whip them into shape.

Angie, listening with annoyed impatience for a knock on the door

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Anthology Markets

If you've just wandered in off the internet, hi and welcome. :) I do these posts every month, so if this post isn't dated in the same month you're in, click here to make sure you're seeing the most recent one.

Markets with specific deadlines are listed first, "Until Filled" markets are at the bottom (although there aren't any this month). There are usually more details on the original site; always click through and read the full guidelines before submitting. Note that some publishers list multiple guidelines on one page, so after you click through you might have to scroll a bit.


31 July 2015 -- Hidden Youth (Long Hidden 2) -- ed. Mikki Kendall and Sofia Samatar; Crossed Genres

Crossed Genres Publications will publish Hidden Youth: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History (expected release January 2016). Below are guidelines for submitting stories to Hidden Youth. Please read the guidelines carefully before submitting.

Direct all queries to Please do not query asking for an exception to the guidelines. Do not send story submissions via this email – see below for how to submit without using the form.

We welcome stories by authors from all walks of life. We especially encourage submissions from members of marginalized groups within the speculative fiction community, including (but not limited to) people of color; people who are not from or living in the U.S.A.; QUILTBAG and GSM people; people with disabilities, chronic illness, or mental illness; and atheists, agnostics, and members of religious minorities. The protagonists of your story do not have to mirror your own heritage, identities, beliefs, or experiences.

We also especially encourage short story submissions from people who don’t usually write in this format, including poets, playwrights, essayists and authors of historical fiction and historical romance.

Submissions are due July 31, 2015. If it’s still July 31 in your time zone, you’re good. Acceptance notices will be sent by November 1. The anthology is tentatively slated for a May 2016 release.

We pay USD 6¢/word for global English first publication rights in print and digital format. The author retains copyright. Payment is upon publication.

==Length: 2000-8000 words (FIRM)
==Your story must be set before 1935 C.E. (NO exceptions), and take place primarily in our world or an alternate historical version of our world. (Travel to other worlds, other dimensions, Fairyland, the afterlife, etc. is fine but should not be the focus.)
==Your protagonists must be young people (under the age of 18) who were marginalized in their time and place. By “marginalized” we mean that they belong to one or more groups of people that were categorically, systematically deprived of rights and/or economic power. Examples in most times and places include enslaved people, indigenous people, queer people, laborers, women, people with disabilities, and people who do not share the local dominant religion, language, or ethnicity. Many people belong to multiple marginalized groups, and many are marginalized in some ways and privileged in others. Your story should acknowledge the complexity and intersectionality of marginalization.
==Your story must contain a significant element of science fiction, fantasy, horror, or the weird, without which the story would not work or would be a substantially different story.
==All submissions must be in English.
==Please note: while we are looking for stories about young people, this is not specifically a YA anthology. We are interested in work that will appeal to a broad audience.
==No reprints. No simultaneous submissions.

We will not accept any story containing the following:

==Gratuitous or titillating depictions of violence.
==Gratuitous descriptions of bodies or body parts, or people described only in objectifying ways.
==Horror that relies on shocking or grossing out the reader.
==Stories that are all about how someone non-marginalized became an enlightened champion of marginalized people.
==A protagonist from a societally or technologically powerful group who happens to be temporarily or situationally powerless (e.g. a peasant who’s really a prince, a representative of the British East India Company shipwrecked on Ceylon).
==Depictions of marginalized people as being doomed to hopeless misery.
==Depiction of any group, no matter how powerful, as universally, inherently, or irredeemably evil.

If you decide to incorporate one or more of the following elements, please do so with caution and awareness of the ways that they can be problematic or difficult to write about.

==Violence, particularly sexual violence. We recognize that sexual violence is frequently used as a weapon against marginalized people, so we are not issuing a blanket prohibition against it, but please consider very carefully whether you need to include it in your story; and if you decide that you do, please consider very very carefully whether your story needs to show the violent act itself.
==Consensual sexual encounters. We’re not averse to sexual or erotic content, but it needs to further the story and incorporate awareness of the ways real-world power relationships affect sexual behavior and decision-making.
==Stereotypes and clichés.
==Alternate history that drops magic powers or anachronistic technology into a historical setting.
==A protagonist who is the only marginalized person in the story.
==Revenge fantasies.
==A setting that’s already very commonly used in speculative fiction, especially one that’s often associated with stories featuring members of privileged/dominant/colonizing groups, e.g. Victorian England, the American “Wild West”.
==A rewrite of a common YA trope. No Twilight, Hunger Games, Harry Potter reboots please. Yes that means we don’t want to see “If Bella was a Black girl in the 1800’s”.

Your story doesn’t need to have all these elements, but we’re especially interested in stories that have at least some of them.

==Accurate depictions of life on the margins.
==Thoughtful, sensitive incorporation of religion, superstition, and folklore.
==Depictions of historically accurate societal attitudes in the context of an authorial voice that does not condone or espouse bigotry. (For example, your female characters will probably have to deal with societal sexism, but your descriptions of them should not rely on sexist stereotypes.)
==An understanding of how economic, technological, political, and religious influences shape a time and place, especially in alternate historical settings.
==Research bibliographies and suggestions for further reading.
==Integration of friendships, family relationships, and community into the story.
==Protagonists who make conscious choices and take conscious action.
==Side characters who are real people.
==Personal triumphs and successes.
==Making us laugh, think, cheer, and weep.

To submit a story to Hidden Youth, please fill out the form [on our web page.] Be sure to:

==Address your submission “Dear Hidden Youth editors” or “Dear Ms. Kendall and Dr. Samatar” or “Dear Mikki and Sofia”. Include your story’s year and location at the beginning of your submission.
==Attach your story as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf file, with your name, the story title, and the wordcount on the first page.
==There will be an email address to send submissions to if for any reason you’re unable to use the form.


31 July 2015 -- Shadow People and Cursed Objects -- ed. C. Le Mroch; Haunt Jaunts

We’re very excited to announce submissions are OPEN for our first ever anthology! It will be published in both paperback and ebook.

SHADOW PEOPLE & CURSED OBJECTS: 13 Tales of Terror Based on True Stories...or are they?


== 13 fiction stories about ghosts or haunted objects. (As long as your story contains one or the other, we want to read it!)
== We’re open to any genre of fiction. Your story doesn’t have to be horror. It can be a paranormal romance, literary, humor. (Although, we’re not going to lie. We love horror. But we’re looking for the very best stories about ghosts and/or haunted objects that we can find.)
== It must, however, involve either a ghost or a haunted object. (We can’t reiterate this enough.)
== Word limit: 5,000


Our anthology is going to be a little different. We want readers to participate by trying to figure out if your tale of a ghost/shadow person or haunted object is based on a true story or not.

The print version will have a section at the back detailing whether the author based their tale on a true story…or if they culled it purely from their imagination.

The ebook version will have a link back to our site with the answer.

Your story does not have to be based on a true story.

If it is based on a true story, we’ll need you to supply the details. (You don’t have to send it with your submission, though. We can get this info later if your story is accepted. We want to try and guess whether it’s based on a true story or not. We’re not gonna lie. We’ll cheat if you supply it ahead of time.)


Authors will receive $50 upon acceptance for Non-Exclusive Rights, plus 10 print copies upon publication.


Use the Submission Form [Click through and scroll down.]

Please note a few things before submitting:

== It’s perfectly acceptable to copy & paste your story from a Word document into the form.
== If you do copy & paste, please take a moment to check the formatting before sending. If it’s all running together, please at least add spaces between paragraphs. This helps make it more readable on our end.
== We are looking for fiction.
== In case you missed it above, your story must contain either or ghost or haunted object. (Or both if you can manage that!)

[Click through for a FAQ list and submission form.]


1 August 2015 -- SNAFU: Hunters -- ed. Geoff Brown, Amanda J Spedding, and Dawn Roach; Cohesion Press

For this anthology, we want hunters of the supernatural. Sam and Dean… Grimm… Van Helsing… with soldiers, hunting along the edges of reality, watching their backs while others watch them from the shadows. Take us along for the ride while your soldiers or hunters take the fight to their enemies. Both hunter or hunted may die, but above all, show us the hunt.

We still want ORIGINAL military-style combat from any period, don’t get me wrong, but we also want fear… we want suspense and tension… we want originality in the monster/antagonist. Most of all we want action, action, ACTION! We want something jaw-droppingly amazing.

If there are no soldiers in the tale, make the hunters and the action military in nature. We STRONGLY suggest you read the first, second and/or third SNAFU volume to see what it is we like.

Edited by Geoff Brown, Amanda J Spedding, and Dawn Roach

Payment: AUD3c/word and one contributor copy in each format released

Wordcount range: 2,000 – 10,000 words (query for shorter or longer)

Submission window: May 1st 2015 to August 1st 2015 (anything submitted outside of this window will be deleted without being read)

Projected publication date: October/November 2015

Please follow these guidelines when submitting to us:

1. Please put your full contact details on the first page of the manuscript top left, with word count top right.
2. Standard submission format, with minimal document formatting.
3. Courier or Times New Roman set at 12pt. Italics as they will appear. No underlining.
4. Double spaced.
5. Please don’t use TAB or space bar to indent lines. Use ‘styles’ only. If unsure or using a program that has no styles, do not indent at all. That’s still cool.
6. NO SPACE between paragraphs unless a line-break is required. ONE SPACE after full stops.
7. Please put full contact details on the first page of the manuscript (yes, I said this twice… it’s important).
8. Send your submission to Geoff Brown at as an attachment (.doc only – no .docx).
9. In the subject line of your email, please put HUNTERS: [STORY TITLE] (Replace [STORY TITLE] with your actual story title. Yes, unfortunately I do need to state this)


For a guide to standard submission format, see: The only variations to this format are that italics MUST appear as they will be used – no underlining – and again, only one space after a full stop. Anyone that fails to follow these guidelines will likely see their story gobbled up by spam gremlins.


1 August 2015 -- Creepy Campfire Stories (for Grownups) -- ed. Jennifer Word; EMP Publishing

Did you ever go camping as a kid and sit around the fire at night listening to scary stories? Or how 'bout that classic scene in so many horror movies where the group of young friends decide to camp out, and before the killing spree begins, they sit around the fire telling creepy stories to effectively set the scene? EMP Publishing is calling for all lovers of the classic horror campfire story to send in your scariest, creepiest, most terrifying tales. We don't want kid's campfire ghost stories, though. We want truly terrifying, so scary it's Rated R, horror stories. No comedy, please. Levity is fine, and can improve a story, but the main feel of the tale should be serious, so no campy horror melodrama, thanks. What we do want are scary stories that are as twisted and depraved as all you wonderful horror writers out there can imagine up. We want to be shocked. We want to be disgusted. We want to be terrified. We are looking for EXTREME horror here, folks.

Gore is fine, just as long as it's fitting to the story. Gore for the sake of gore alone is not what we are looking for. Sex is fine, too, so long as it isn't overly gratuitous. Save the graphic descriptions for the bloody scenes. Profanity is permitted, but too much of anything can ruin the effect. Other than that, censorship is off the table. Whatever your sick little minds dream up, send it in, as long as it's good and scary.

What we don't want: NO YA, please. If it's something a person under age 18 can read, it's not scary enough. This anthology is for ADULTS. Also, we are looking for mostly modern horror. Too many twisted tales set too far in the past will make it difficult for readers to connect with the horror. We want fresh horror. We want scary stories that a modern day reader can connect to. These stories should make the reader horrified that something similar could happen to them. If the horror is set in WWII, that becomes difficult to achieve, so we are hesitant to accept historical horror at this time. The bulk of these stories should be set in the year 2000 or sooner. We want modern horror campfire stories for this century. And if you cannot truly imagine your story actually being told around a campfire, then it doesn't fit the campfire theme.

Please do not send stories over 6000 words. We'd also prefer stories be a minimum 1500 words in length, so no flash fiction, please. Make sure your manuscript is 12 pt. Times New Roman, double spaced. No headers, please. Simply include a title page with story title, author name, total word count, and author contact information, including e-mail and phone number. You do not need to include page numbers, as long as you adhere to the word count limit. An author bio can be included, if you like, but it is not necessary. We accept .doc and .docx files only.

Please take the time to re-read the above paragraph, and follow these guidelines. It is a sign of great disrespect to our company for authors to clearly not take the time to properly prepare your manuscript to submit to our anthology, following our specified guidelines. PLEASE run a basic spelling and grammar check as well before submitting your story. We also strongly suggest you simply read through it one time, to catch any glaring typos or other simple errors. Thank you. When we receive stories with sentences missing periods at the end, or an obvious typo in the opening sentence, it gives us the impression you didn't take the time to do a basic edit.

Payment for accepted stories will be 6¢ per word. Limit is $360 per story. EMP Publishing is asking for exclusive print and epublishing rights of selected work for six months from publication date. Selected authors will receive two contributor's copies as well as payment. Creepy Campfire Stories (for Grownups) will be distributed in paperback and Kindle e-book versions. The book is set for release on October 20, 2015.

Multiple submissions are okay, but please send only previously unpublished works, this includes online published works, including personal blogs and website. We will not accept stories that have been previously published in any form. Please no simultaneous subs, if we like your story, we don't want to worry about it being pulled for acceptance elsewhere a week before we announce our lineup.

We'd like the stories to have that classic campfire feel to them, but other than that (and that's fairly subjective), there's no limit. Use your imagination, and scare the socks off of us! We want to be thoroughly creeped out!! We are looking for original scares, or completely new takes on old classics. Ghosts, monsters, aliens, paranormal phenomena, the sky is the limit, so long as your story is scary, not silly, and hopefully unpredictable. EMP Publishing wants to put out an anthology of creepy tales that will become the new classic campfire stories for this century.

Deadline for submission is Saturday, August 1, 2015 by midnight EST. All selected authors will be notified no later than September 20, 2015. However, our response time currently is 1-2 weeks or less. Payment to selected authors, however, will be sent out on September 20. Payment will be by check from EMP Publishing, or through Paypal if author prefers.

[Click through and scroll down for a link to their Submittable page.] Thank you and good luck!


8 August 2015 -- Tales from the Miskatonic Library -- ed. John Ashmead and Darrell Schweitzer; PS Publishing

The small press anthology Tales From the Miskatonic Library is now soliciting stories for submission. This is an anthology of tales about, found in, inspired by, or stolen from the Miskatonic University Library.

Your editors are Darrell Schweitzer & myself, and we are looking for tales that:

1. Are good stories.
2. Can be included in an anthology titled Tales From the Miskatonic Library without involving us in elaborate explanations.
3. Aren’t "Boy Reads Book; Book Eats Boy."

So, your chance to have a bit of grim fun:

== What sort of tales might be found in the Miskatonic University Library? Kept perhaps in the secure reading room? Shared by Chief Librarian Henry Armitage over faculty sherry with only a trusted few?
== And how did Dr. Henry Armitage acquire his position as Chief Librarian? And what of his successor(s)?
== What unexpected problems might be faced by an acquisitions librarian at Miskatonic University? Or a cataloger? Is the Necronomicon quite as rare as it is made out to be?
== What is the real explanation for the curious gaps in the Dewey Decimal System?
== What might it take to see the unexpurgated account of the Pabodie's 1930 expedition to The Mountains of Madness? Together with their troubling cross-correlations with Shackleton's private diary? The US Treasury Departments internal report on the incident at Devil Reef off Innsmouth?
== Why are no students allowed within the stacks? Are rumors of non-Euclidean spaces within merely rumors? Why was Einstein called in for a consult in 1944? And his frequent correspondent Schrödinger brought over secretly from Ireland that same year?
== And are series like Warehouse 13 or The Librarian or Charlie Stross's The Laundry really just cover stories for the MUL? precautions taken to make sure if a bit of the truth gets out, it will be seen as merely a publicity stunt?
== …

And, there is absolutely no requirement to mention the Necronomicon or even the Cthulhu Mythos at all! So long as its appearance in our anthology makes sense, we’re good with it.

Our publisher is PS Publishing, which has just published Darrell's That is Not Dead: Tales of the Cthulhu Mythose Through the Centuries, and which has a very strong line of Lovecraftian titles. As this is small press, maximum 1000 copies, the rate is — alas — correspondingly small: 3¢/word max $100. Sigh. But, Honour & recognition! Or, even better, a chance to warn the world of untimely horrors!

Please send stories in electronic form only! RTF, Word, or Pages are OK. Not PDF, which is not editable.

No reprints. Your original work only.

Send to me, John Ashmead, at

Any questions, ask!


31 August 2015 -- Enchanted Soles -- Less Than Three Press

ENCHANTED SOLES — Bisexual Anthology Call — Many a tale is filled with enchanted objects that help to overcome insurmountable challenges. Swords, mirrors, pots, books—but none is more famous than the enchanted shoe, from a slipper made of glass to boots that walk seven leagues in a single step.

Less Than Three Press invites you to submit your tales of people assisted on their way by magical footwear.


==Deadline is August 31, 2015 (give or take, we won’t kill you for sending it off the following morning).
==Stories should be at least 10,000 words and should not exceed approx 20,000 words in length.
==Stories must revolve around the theme of magic shoes, feature a bisexual character, and contain a romance*.
==Stories must have a happily ever after (HEA) or happy for now (HFN) end.
==Any sub-genre is gladly accepted: sci-fi, mystery, contemporary, steampunk, etc.
==All usual LT3 submission guidelines apply.

*Aromantic & queer platonic relationships are accepted; email the editor for more info.

Enchanted Soles is a general release anthology, which means authors will receive a flat payment of $200.00 once LT3 has a signed contract. Authors will receive one copy each of the ebook formats LT3 produces and two copies of the paperback compilation.

Stories should be complete before submitting, and as edited as possible—do not submit a first draft. They can be submitted in any format (doc, docx, rtf, odt, etc) preferably single spaced in an easy to read font (Times, Calibri, Arial) with no special formatting (no elaborate section separation, special fonts, etc). Additional formatting guidelines can be found here.

Questions should be directed to Sasha L. Miller at (or you can ping her on twitter @nikerymis). Submissions should be sent to Include the following in your email:

==Put SUBMISSIONS: ENCHANTED SOLES in the subject line! Emails without this subject line run the risk of not being seen or read, so please, do not forget this!
==Your real name, pen name (if you use one), and preferred email address.
==The approximate total length of the completed story.
==A brief summary of the story, not to exceed approximately 200 words in length.
==Attach the complete manuscript in .doc, .docx, or .odt format.


31 August 2015 -- Futuristica -- Meta Sagas

We are currently accepting submissions for our first anthology of short fiction, Futuristica Volume 1.

Submissions Guidelines & Payment Information:

== We pay 6 cents per word against a pro rata share of royalties.
== We buy first rights and exclusive eBook rights for 6 months after the date of publication.
== We do not purchase reprints.
== We accept simultaneous submissions.
== Manuscripts should be in standard manuscript format.
== Manuscripts should be between 3,000 and 10,000 words.
== No prior publishing experience is required.

Story Criteria:

== Story content must be original. We do not accept fan fiction or derivative works.
== We prize diversity, specifically stories that include multicultural backgrounds or lead characters of atypical ethnic origins. Basically, while we have nothing against heterosexual white American males, we feel they are already adequately represented in science fiction and we want stories about the rest of humanity.
== We are interested in character-oriented fiction.

Women Positive:

== We want stories with awesome female protagonists.
== Zoë Washburn? YES!
== Princess Leia? Definitely!
== That blonde girl from The Temple of Doom? No!
== Bella? Hahahaha. No.

Sex Positive:

== Can the story contain sexual content? Absolutely! However, the sexual content should be integral to the story, but not the whole story.
== Does there have to be sex in the story? Nope.
== No demeaning sex acts.
== No rape. Period.

Science Positive:

== Stories should explore science fiction, scientific fantasy, space opera, emerging technologies, etc…
== We have a preference for near future, near Earth settings.
== No high fantasy, please.
== No dragons or dinosaurs, unless they also have lasers.


We are committed to responding to submissions as quickly as possible. Manuscripts will be evaluated in the order in which they are received. We will update [the guidelines] page regularly with the date for which we are currently reviewing manuscripts.

If the review date listed at the top of this page has passed the date on which your manuscript was submitted and you haven’t heard from us, you may query us using the Contact page. Please include a subject line of "Submission Query" and the author and title of the manuscript.


30 September 2015 -- It's Come to Our Attention -- Third Flatiron

Under the radar: things that are happening quietly, without a lot of fanfare, that may still be extremely significant or make a big difference.

Stories should be submitted in either Microsoft Word (using double spacing), RTF, or plain text. They should be between 1,500 and 3,000 words. Flash humor pieces (Grins and Gurgles) should be short, around 600 words.

Please don't send simultaneous or multiple submissions. If a story has been rejected, you can then send another.

Submit by email to either as an attachment (Word) or in the body of the mail (text).

In the Subject: line of the email, please put flatsubmit:Title_of_Your_Work to avoid being deemed a canned meat product based on ham.

If the work is for the humor section, please note that in the body of your email. A brief bio and a one- or two-sentence synopsis in the body of your email would also be helpful to us.

Your story must be original work, with the digital rights unencumbered. Accepted stories will be paid at the flat rate of 3 cents per word (U.S.), in return for the digital rights to the story for six months after publication. All other rights will remain with the author. We no longer offer royalties. If your story is selected as the lead story, beginning July 1, 2014, we will pay a flat rate of 6 cents per word (SFWA professional rate), in return for the permission to podcast or give the story away as a free sample portion of the anthology.

Third Flatiron will price and market your story to various e-publishing venues. We will format the story for the most popular electronic readers and platforms. You agree that we may distribute a sample (portion of the story) to potential customers.

For non-U.S. submissions, we prefer to pay via PayPal, if you have such an account.

Authors selected for publication will also be entitled to one free online copy of the anthology.


1 October 2015 -- Myriad Lands -- ed. David Stokes; Guardbridge Books

An Anthology of Non-Western Fantasy

Beyond the familiar tropes of knights and dragons, there is a whole world of possibilities for fantasy literature.

This collection seeks to explore the stories available in non-traditional fantasy.

We are looking for secondary world fantasy, where the world building and story telling is based on sources other than medieval Europe.

These can be based on other Earth cultures, examples such as Barry Hughart's fantasy China in Bridge of Birds, or Aliette de Bodard's magical Aztec Empire in Servant of the Underworld. Alternately, they could have a totally original setting, such as M.A.R. Barker's Tekumel, N.K. Jemisin's Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, or China Mieville's Bas-Lag.

LENGTH: 1000-6000 words. We will consider a select few longer works, but query first.

RIGHTS SOUGHT: First Worldwide print and electronic English Language rights. Exclusivity for 1 year from date of release. Non-exclusive rights to keep the anthology in print afterwards.

PAYMENT: £0.03/word (approx. 5¢/word US). Contributor's copy. Payment will be made when story line-up is finalized.

PROCEDURE: attach an RTF or DOC or Plain Text file in an email. Send to

In the e-mail include your:
== Legal Name (to whom a payment would be made out)
== Pen Name (if any - how you would like to be credited in print)
== Mailing Address
== Word Count
== Brief summary of publication credits (no need to list them all)

We will judge submissions based on the writing, not on your cover letter, so don't spend too much effort trying to impress us with it.

Please make the file name the same as the title of the story. (ex. TheLordOfTheRings.rtf, although, please, keep your stories shorter than that!)

Please, no simultaneous or multiple submissions. In other words, don't send them to me while you are sending them to someone else, and send only one story at a time.

We will review stories continuously as they come in. If we reject one submission and there is still time, you may submit another. If we like your story, we may ask to hold for final consideration once all submissions are in.

Reprints of previously published material might be considered for exceptional stories, depending on original publication and copyright issues. Please make it very clear in your cover e-mail if your story is already published elsewhere. We will not include many of these and payment will be negotiated individually.

If there are additional elements, like special formatting, illustrations or maps, absolutely necessary for the story, please mention them in the e-mail.

We welcome submissions from writers from a diversity of communities. Writers with experience of Asian, African, Latin American, Oceanic, or indigenous cultures are especially encouraged to apply.


== Stereotypes or clichéd portrayal of cultures.
== Stories based purely on showing the strangeness or exoticism of a culture.
== Standard sword-and-sorcery plots with foreign sounding names.
== Explicit and excessive depictions of violence, torture, or rape. (A fight scene is fine, a full page describing the blood and entrails pouring from a wound is excessive.)
== Modern day or urban-fantasy.


== Engaging stories with interesting characters.
== Unique stories that flow from the modes of life in their subject cultures.
== Social structures and Governments other than medieval European feudalism/monarchy, cultural traditions other than European.
== Vivid descriptions of lands, peoples, customs (but avoid infodumps or travelogues where possible).

If you have any questions, contact .

I hope to see lots of great stories. Good Luck!


1 October 2015 -- Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology -- ed. Janine A. Southard; Cantina Publishing

iPhones are magic.

I mean, do you know how yours works? Could you take it apart and put it back together? We can’t go out without our smartphones. They organize our lives, find our locations, and sync with all our other tech. We sleep with them beside our pillows. Yet… their workings are a mystery.

What does “magic iPhone” mean to you? Consider the supervillain who mind-controls a city’s populace, or the employee who stamps the runes that make your iPhone 8s so lightweight.

This anthology is based on the success of anthology editor Janine A. Southard’s recent novel, Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story, which stars an explicitly magical iPhone (found by story gamers in modern-day Seattle). That iPhone comes pre-loaded with a romance finder app of dubious morality that not only sends its users on terrible dates, but also sucks their life forces.

Editor’s Note: I’m looking for stories that cleverly incorporate the idea of a “magic iPhone” into any setting you like. I will, of course, be psyched to read variations on my crazy romance app, but I’m also excited to read something totally different. I’m accepting all genres except straight-up erotica or hard-core horror. (We’re aiming this anthology at general audiences, after all.) I think the idea lends itself well to comedy and dark fantasy, but… I guess that was obvious already.

How to submit: Send your story in .doc, .docx, or .rtf format to Janine A. Southard at

Note about brands: In Cracked! A Magic iPhone Story the titular device was, clearly, an iPhone. Cantina Publishing acknowledges that not everyone rates an iPhone as their favorite device, but the concept of the magic iPhone is the element which will tie together stories in this anthology. You are welcome to feature alternate devices in addition to the iPhone, but be respectful in the event of brand/model comparisons. “iPhone” is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.; Cantina Publishing is not affiliated with Apple Inc. (aside from having listings in the Apple iBooks Store); Cantina Publishing has received no incentive from Apple Inc. for featuring their product in this anthology.

Rights and compensation: Originals only, no reprints. We will purchase first publishing rights for inclusion in this anthology (ebook and print) and one year of exclusivity for $100 (further funding may be possible, subject to Kickstarter project fund availability). Authors retain the rights to the individual stories; Cantina Publishing exercises rights to the anthology as a whole. Each author will also receive a POD copy of the finished work.

General Guidelines:

Do send:
Your story with your contact details, name (and pseudonym, if applicable), and word count on the first page of a .doc, .docx, or .rtf document. Please use italics instead of underlining. Cantina Publishing recommends using a really common workhorse font like Times New Roman or Calibri at whatever the default setting is for your word processor. (Font selections are subject to change before publication. Still, the submissions reader will remember you as “the jerk who sent something all in wingdings.” So we don’t recommend that particular level of creativity.) 3,000-7,000 words recommended.

Don’t send: Fanfic of any kind. (Unless specified by the call for submissions.) Grotesque horror. Anything over 10,000 words without querying first.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Anthology Sale

I just sent back a contract for a short story called "Ghosts of the Past," which will be published in the ninth Valdemar anthology, a collection of stories set in Mercedes Lackey's Kingdom of Valdemar. This is the first time I've been invited to submit to a closed anthology, and it was a different experience. I'll admit I was nervous at a few points. :)

John Helfers, an editor I've worked with on a couple of Fiction River volumes, knew I was a fan of Misty Lackey's work and invited me to submit a proposal for a story. I've never worked that way before -- usually I read the guidelines for a book, then write a story and sub it, and I'm frankly not very good at judging ahead of time how long a story's going to be. There are writers who can aim for a 5K short or a 15K novelette or an 80K word novel, and hit right on, within a couple hundred words for the shorter lengths and within about a thousand for the novel, but I'm not one of them. I guess that's one of the skills you develop with a lot more practice and experience than I have. But I needed to sub a story synopsis and commit to bringing it in under the limit. So rather than just writing down my idea, I started writing the story. Good thing I did, because I got a few thousand words into that first idea and realized I had at least a novella on my hands.

Okay, scratch that and start over. I came up with another idea, pulled up a fresh story file and started writing again. After about 3K words I got a sense of where the story was going and how long it'd take to get there. I was sure I could bring it in under the wordcount limit, so I wrote up a synopsis and sent it in. John and Misty both liked it, and I got a go-ahead to write.

The writing was fun, and this is one of the areas on the commercial side of writing where having fanfic experience can be a help. All the characters on the page were my own inventions, but I wanted to do justice to Misty's world, and to the tone -- in computer OS terms, the "look and feel" of it -- so that the story sounded like a Valdemar story, and felt like something Misty could've written. I sent it in, got some edits from John, and we eventually got it hammered out such that we're both happy with it. Misty liked it too, so I got a contract.

[I've had questions about this before, so just in case anyone's wondering, my experience has been that contracts are issued after edits. That way, you get paid for the actual number of words that are going to appear in print. And I've never gotten the feeling that an editor was trying to shave things down to save a few bucks. In fact, most of my edits have resulted in the story being a bit longer.]

I found I was a little more nervous about this one than I've been about other anthology submissions. I think it's because I was playing in someone else's sandbox, borrowing their toys (even if I brought some of my own) and I didn't want the sandbox's owner to think I was doing it wrong, or being disrespectful. It's like going over to someone's house for the first time and wanting to make a good impression. :) Getting the final okay on my story, from John and Misty both, was a great relief.

The book will be out in December, from DAW. I'll post a cover when I have one.